On Sunday the Classes of 2023 and 2024 took the stage at the Hoop Exchange Spring Player Showdown. While we were only able to get to the afternoon session, there was still plenty of talent to see and discuss.
Sammie Yeanay, Citra North Marion: While his move from The Rock to North Marion at midseason was surprising, his play here was not. The 6’8 junior is a rugged insider that also has a soft touch from the perimeter, making him a very difficult cover. Yeanay has the strength and post moves to score consistently around the basket yet can step away from the paint and connect on shots from both sides of the arc with regularity. He rebounds well in a crowd, runs the floor, and challenges shots in the lane.
Jordan Tillery, Orlando Oak Ridge: The 6’6 junior doesn’t do any one thing great but he does a lot of things well and can fill up a state sheet in a hurry. He’s more likely to score on drives than drop shots in from the perimeter but from what we’ve seen he is capable of doing so. Tillery is unselfish, looking to get the ball to open teammates both on the break and against set defenses. He has the ability to grab the defensive rebound and push the ball up the floor on his own. Defensively, he is versatile with active hands and feet.
Brady Patterson, Jacksonville Providence: The 6’0 junior was far and away the best shooter we saw over the course of the two day event. His range is deep, release quick, and Patterson will drop in shots off both the catch and the dribble. He is a a good ball-handler and will head to the hoop when the defense least expects it. Patterson is a crafty defender that will take a charge, disrupt the passing lanes, and move his feet quickly to keep opponents with the ball in front of him.
Elijah Elliott, Orlando Oak Ridge: The 6’3 junior is fast and quick with the ball, causing the defense all sorts of problems. He pushes the pace at every opportunity, looks to get paint touches, and puts defenders on their heels. Elliott is a very quick straight-line driver and usually gets to the rim before the defense can help. His shot from either side of the arc continues to improve as he knocked them down at a respectable clip on Sunday. Elliott doesn’t hesitate to give the ball up to open teammates and is an active and aggressive defender.
Kameren Wright, Gainesville The Rock School: A 6’6 junior, Wright is a Sports Center Top Ten waiting to happen. He is a bundle of quick twitch energy that explodes to the basket, whether in transition, against set defenses, and when going for offensive rebounds and lobs around the rim. His ball-handling and perimeter shooting continue to improve as he is starting to make defenses pay for backing off of him. Defensively, he impacts with his ability to turn steals into scores by anticipating the passing lanes. Wright is likely to be a guy college coaches from various levels focus in the April and July live periods.
Jesse Nimmo, Haines City: A 6’6 junior, he lived up to his reputation as a shooter and scorer. Once he got going from behind the arc, it was hard to contain him. Nimmo took advantage of defenses playing too close or closing too fast and headed to the basket for easy scores. He connected on threes off the catch and the bounce and also showed a bit of a mid-range pull-up game as well. An above-average athlete, Nimmo will get on the glass and quickly get the ball up the floor.
Jahmari Johnson, Fort Myers Gateway Charter: A 6’4 senior, Johnson was one of the breakout players of this past high school season. It took him a while to get going on Sunday but once he did, he made up for lost time. He attacked defenders off the bounce, scored in traffic at the basket and used his speed, quickness, and athleticism to grab rebound, force turnover, and make plays all over the floor. His jumper didn’t fall as frequently this weekend as we saw during the season but that really isn’t of concern. Johnson is one of those “sleepers” that is going to make a coaching staff look very smart in the coming season.